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Green / Sustainable Wine

Natural Wine, Organic & Sustainable Defined ...

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Wines marked with the green leaf icon are produced using organic, biodynamic or sustainable practices as certified by various domestic and international organizations. Any spirits marked with the green leaf have been made using sustainable methods designed to decrease their production impact on the environment.

Does the green leaf mean it is a natural wine?

Though it is a widely used term, “natural wine” is difficult to indisputably define. Other terms are almost as popular: “low intervention,” “live,” “raw,” and “green wine,” to name a few. Isabelle Legeron, Master of Wine, in her book, Natural Wine explains the term best.

“Whether or not it is certified (or indeed certifiable), natural wine does exist. It is wine from vineyards that are farmed organically, at the very least, and which is produced without adding or removing anything during vinification, apart from a dash of sulfites at bottling.”

While this definition may sound ideal to most, the USA defines “organic wine” differently. Read on for clarification.

What is the difference between organic wine and wine made from organic grapes?

Organic wine in the USA is regulated by the National Organic Program (NOP) of the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service, in accordance with the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990. By definition, organic winegrowing integrates cultural, biological and mechanical practices that foster the cycling of resources, promote ecological balance and conserve biodiversity. Synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, irradiation, and genetic engineering are not allowed. Products from outside of the cycle are used minimally. The USDA NOP allows for two categories of finished wine:

  1. Organic wine, as defined and labeled in the USA, is wine made from organic grapes with no added sulfites. Each country has its own laws on how to define organic wine. But any wine labeled “organic” sold in the USA, whether it is domestically made or imported, is not allowed to have any added sulfites. However, less than 20 mg/L can occur naturally.
  2. Wine made from organic grapes, which allows minimal addition of sulfites (less than 100 mg/L) cannot be labeled as “organic wine” in the USA, but can mention the use of organic grapes.

What is biodynamic wine?

Biodynamic wine is created from a system of winegrowing similar to that for organic wine, but includes various concepts from the ideas of Rudolf Steiner (1861–1925). Steiner’s farming methods treat soil fertility, plant growth and products, and livestock care and products as ecologically interrelated. Biodynamic agriculture uses compost and manure for fertilization, natural herb and mineral supplements for field sprays and prohibits the use of anything artificial. It treats the entire vineyard as an interrelated part of a self-sufficient farm. Biodynamic farming considers the influence of weather, seasons and movements of the moon and planets on the rhythms of the farm. The term “biodynamic” refers to both the agricultural methods used to grow the vines, as well as winery processing.

What does sustainable wine mean?

Sustainable wine production can be defined by three main goals: environmental stewardship, economic profitability and social and economic equity. This means that sustainable farmers do their best to give back to the environment and to the community, while also furthering their business. Sustainable wine growers may largely use organic or biodynamic practices, and occasionally or minimally use synthetic materials (only the least harmful), but have the flexibility to choose the methods that work best for their goals. The sustainable label tells the consumer which wines are made with ecological, economical and social principles in mind. Its limitation is that it is locally defined and therefore varies regionally.

What are sustainable spirits?

While regulations on the spirits side of sustainable are still in their infancy, that hasn’t stopped individual producers from taking heed of conscientious production techniques to reduce their carbon footprint. Distillers striving to make their operations more sustainable are implementing a wide array of eco-friendly procedures ranging from renewable power solutions, water and heat reclamation systems, utilizing locally sourced agricultural produce and composting or reusing any refuse as fertilizer or feed for livestock. In addition to optimizing the efficiency of the manufacturing process, eliminating harmful single use plastics and repurposing or recycling waste products such as barrels and bottles are also proving to be effective strategies for improving sustainability. All spirits labeled “organic” must meet the regulations provided by both Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) and the USDA.

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  • Chateau de Saint Cosme Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2018  Front Label
    Chateau de Saint Cosme Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2018
    Rhone Red Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
    • WS93
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $58.99
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  • Tablas Creek Cotes de Tablas Blanc 2018  Front Label
    Tablas Creek Cotes de Tablas Blanc 2018
    Rhone White Blends from Adelaida District, Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
    • WE93
    • RP92
    • WS91
    4.0 51 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $29.99
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    35
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  • MacRostie Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 2018  Front Label
    MacRostie Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 2018
    Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
    • WS91
    • RP90
    • W&S90
    • WE90
    3.7 28 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $29.99
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  • Clos du Caillou Chateauneuf-du-Pape Reserve 2018  Front Label
    Clos du Caillou Chateauneuf-du-Pape Reserve 2018
    Rhone Red Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
    • JD97
    • RP97
    • WS94
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $184.99
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    210
    184 99
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  • Raymond Reserve Selection Cabernet Sauvignon 2018  Front Label
    Raymond Reserve Selection Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
    • D93
    • V92
    • RP92
    • WS91
    • WW90
    • JD90
    4.1 101 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $39.99
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    45
    39 99
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  • Chateau Tournefeuille Lalande-de-Pomerol 2018  Front Label
    Chateau Tournefeuille Lalande-de-Pomerol 2018
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Lalande de Pomerol, Bordeaux, France
    • WE92
    • JS92
    • JD90
    • WS90
    4.7 41 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $35.99
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  • Bodegas Valderiz Ribera del Duero 2018  Front Label
    Bodegas Valderiz Ribera del Duero 2018
    Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero, Spain
    • WS95
    • JS93
    4.2 6 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $35.99
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  • St. Francis Old Vines Zinfandel 2018  Front Label
    St. Francis Old Vines Zinfandel 2018
    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
    • WS91
    • WW90
    3.9 57 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $19.99
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    22
    19 99
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  • Argyle Nuthouse Pinot Noir 2018  Front Label
    Argyle Nuthouse Pinot Noir 2018
    Pinot Noir from Eola-Amity Hills, Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • WS91
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $49.99
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    55
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  • Georges Vernay Condrieu Les Chaillees de L'Enfer 2018  Front Label
    Georges Vernay Condrieu Les Chaillees de L'Enfer 2018
    Viognier from Condrieu, Rhone, France
    • WS95
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $174.99
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    190
    174 99
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  • Markham Merlot 2018  Front Label
    Markham Merlot 2018
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
    • WS91
    3.7 13 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $22.99
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    25
    22 99
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  • Hall Kathryn Hall Cabernet Sauvignon 2018  Front Label
    Hall Kathryn Hall Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
    • RP97
    • WS95
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $184.99
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    200
    184 99
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  • Bodegas Mauro  2018  Front Label
    Bodegas Mauro 2018
    Tempranillo from Spain
    • RP94
    • V93
    • JD92
    • WS92
    4.6 5 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $56.99
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    60
    56 99
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  • Soter Vineyards North Valley Reserve Pinot Noir 2018  Front Label
    Soter Vineyards North Valley Reserve Pinot Noir 2018
    Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • WS92
    • WE92
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $56.99
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    60
    56 99
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  • Cuvaison Chardonnay 2018  Front Label
    Cuvaison Chardonnay 2018
    Chardonnay from Carneros, California
    • JS90
    • WS90
    4.0 7 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $24.99
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    26
    24 99
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  • Duck Hunter Pinot Noir 2018  Front Label
    Duck Hunter Pinot Noir 2018
    Pinot Noir from Marlborough, New Zealand
    • WS91
    3.6 12 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $28.99
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    30
    28 99
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  • Roger Sabon Chateauneuf-du-Pape Les Secret des Sabon 2018  Front Label
    Roger Sabon Chateauneuf-du-Pape Les Secret des Sabon 2018
    Rhone Red Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
    • RP97
    • JD97
    • WS95
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $209.99
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    209 99
    209 99
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  • Evening Land Seven Springs Vineyard Chardonnay 2018  Front Label
    Evening Land Seven Springs Vineyard Chardonnay 2018
    Chardonnay from Eola-Amity Hills, Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • RP93
    • WS93
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $42.99
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    42 99
    42 99
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  • Weingut Friedrich Becker Pfalz Pinot Gris 2018  Front Label
    Weingut Friedrich Becker Pfalz Pinot Gris 2018
    Pinot Gris/Grigio from Pfalz, Germany
    • WE91
    • WS90
    3.9 12 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $26.99
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    26 99
    26 99
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  • De Martino Legado Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva 2018  Front Label
    De Martino Legado Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva 2018
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Maipo Valley, Chile
    • WS91
    2.9 7 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $25.99
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    25 99
    25 99
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  • Quintessa  2018  Front Label
    Quintessa 2018
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Rutherford, Napa Valley, California
    • JS99
    • WE98
    • RP97
    • WS93
    4.4 7 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $209.99
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    209 99
    209 99
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  • Vasse Felix Cabernet Sauvignon 2018  Front Label
    Vasse Felix Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Margaret River, Western Australia, Australia
    • JS94
    • WS92
    • W&S90
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $44.99
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    44 99
    44 99
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  • Chateau de Saint Cosme Cote Rotie 2018  Front Label
    Chateau de Saint Cosme Cote Rotie 2018
    Syrah/Shiraz from Cote Rotie, Rhone, France
    • JD95
    • WE95
    • WS93
    4.0 7 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $89.99
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    89 99
    89 99
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  • Gerard Bertrand Cigalus Blanc 2018  Front Label
    Gerard Bertrand Cigalus Blanc 2018
    Rhone White Blends from Languedoc, South of France, France
    • RP93
    • WW92
    • WS90
    4.8 14 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $51.99
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    51 99
    51 99
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  • Clos du Caillou Chateauneuf-du-Pape Les Quartz 2018  Front Label
    Clos du Caillou Chateauneuf-du-Pape Les Quartz 2018
    Rhone Red Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
    • D96
    • RP95
    • JD94
    • WS93
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $108.99
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    108 99
    108 99
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